Our Diocesan Bishop, Dr Peter Stuart, introduced the ordination on Saturday 18th July as a “strange and wonderful event.” “Strange,” he said, “because we are carefully practising social distancing with no singing, no dancing and no mingling. Wonderful because we are celebrating what God is doing in Kimbalee and Sarah’s lives and in the life of the Church.”

Bishop Charlie led the congregation in the acknowledgement of country that we express each time we gather for a diocesan service. “We gather from the four winds travelling across the land of the Awabakal, Biripi, Darkinjung, Garrigal, Geawegal, Kamilaroi, Worimi and Wonnarua peoples to come to this place. We acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land. We join our custodianship with theirs in honouring creation and acknowledge the elders past present and future.”

The service was shaped by a celebration of St Mary Magdalene – the Apostle to the Apostles.

Bishop Sonia, who had led the ordination quiet days, was the preacher. She said, “Sarah and Kimbalee, as you exercise the ministry of deacon, as you grow into this ministry, you will find yourselves giving to God and neighbour from deep in your hearts… and you find that you are also called to receive as others give to you from deep within their hearts. It is a life of humble service and gratitude.”

Drawing on the image of diaconal service in footwashing, Bishop Sonia spoke of her ordaining as bishop washing the feet of the ordinands as part of the service.

“So, what are deacons?” Bishop Sonia asked and answered, “Deacons are ordained ministers who remind us of our call to live lives of service to God and others. Deacons are like a bridge between the church and the world bringing together in their ministry worship and service, and leading us as all to seek to balance these twin aspects of the Christian life.  And in our worship it is the deacons who send us out into the world in mission. Deacons also remind us of the grace of God who enables us to live this life faithfully, joyfully, and gratefully.”

The Reverend Kimbalee Hodges will serve as a Deacon in Local Ministry in the Parish of East Maitland. The Reverend Sarah Dulley will serve as Honorary Deacon in the Parish of Telarah and Rutherford.

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